Asheville is a vibrant city in North Carolina that’s renowned for its rich architectural legacy and thriving art scene. It’s also home to a wide variety of restaurants serving delicious dishes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
With local favorites like Biscuit Head, Buxton Hall Barbecue, All Souls Pizza, Rhubarb, Jargon, Tupelo Honey, White Duck Taco Shop, French Broad Chocolate Lounge, and Cúrate, you’ll have no trouble finding something you like.
While these are some of the most popular restaurants in Asheville (which you should visit, by all means), there are plenty of other incredible places to eat here, too.
For example, our plant-based readers won’t want to miss out on the delicious vegan cheese platter offered by Plant or the irresistible entrées at the Laughing Seed Café, two of the best vegan and vegetarian restaurants in Asheville.
Those craving Indian food should head to Chai Pani or Mela, while the Jerusalem Garden Cafe is sure to satisfy a hankering for Mediterranean or Middle-Eastern cuisine.
Red Ginger Dimsum & Tapas is a must for sampling authentic Asian dishes in downtown Asheville, whereas its neighbor, Posana, is a great option for a romantic date night with your significant other.
For one-of-a-kind craft cocktails, try Edison at the Omni Grove Park Inn, or Cedric’s Tavern for classic English pub fare and a cold beer.
With so many delectable Asheville restaurants, how do you choose? Come with us as we discover more mouthwatering options in this guide to 40 of the best restaurants in Asheville!
Best Asheville Restaurants
1. Apollo Flame Bistro
After a morning spent exploring the Blue Ridge Mountains, make your way to this hole-in-the-wall Greek diner for a well-deserved lunch.
Open seven days a week, Apollo Flame Bistro serves a combination of Mediterranean specialties and American classics, including everything from chicken or lamb gyro platters to double cheeseburgers with french fries. They also make delicious subs with a variety of fillings and your choice of side.
2. Asheville Pizza and Brewing Company
With multiple locations across North, South, and downtown Asheville, this is one of the top local restaurants that the city has to offer.
The Asheville Pizza and Brewing Company serves delicious hand-tossed pizzas and award-winning pub fare made with fresh local ingredients along with their own range of craft beer.
House specialties include their signature vegetarian spiced spinach burger, King Kong wings, Napoleon Dynamite Sticks, and french fries topped with sautéed red onion, garlic, bacon, jalapeño, and melted chili cheese.
3. Asheville Proper
The new kid on the block, this is Asheville’s proper steakhouse. The restaurant opened in 2020 under the ownership of Owen and Mindi McGlynn, both of whom have a passion for the culinary arts.
Chef Owen is the mastermind behind their delectable dinner menu, which consists of a wide selection of fresh sides and succulent steaks paired with speakeasy cocktails, local brews, and moreish desserts.
For romantic fine dining in Asheville, head to Bouchon in downtown Asheville. This charming establishment specializes in French comfort food served in an intimate, dimly-lit setting, providing the perfect backdrop for an enchanting evening.
Bouchon also makes some of the most delicious cocktails in town, although you may want to order one of their classy French wines during dinner.
For petites assiettes, order the French onion soup, quiche du jour, or steak tartare (only available on Thursdays ). For grandes assiettes, choose between their roasted duck seasoned with cocoa nibs and dry coriander, served with roasted carrots and potato gratin; pan-seared beef shoulder tenderloin in a creamy cognac pepper sauce; or their Moroccan-spiced lamb chops with Mediterranean couscous.
Afterward, head to Crave Dessert Bar for more cocktails, hookah, and something sweet.
5. The Bull And Beggar
Located in the River Arts District, this is one of Asheville’s most popular restaurants for fine dining. The Bull and Beggar serves delicious meals made with local produce in a cozy atmosphere, making it ideal for special occasions.
Choose from their hors d’oeuvres and small plates like oysters, steak tartare, or veal sweetbreads before devouring one of their mains, which range from pan-roasted black Cod to braised lamb neck and steak frites.
6. Cedric’s Tavern or Stable Cafe
Located in the popular Biltmore Park Estate, Cedric’s Tavern is one of Asheville locals’ favorite restaurants. You’ll need a pass/ticket to enter the grounds, and reservations are recommended.
Named after the Vanderbilts’ beloved St. Bernhard, Cedric’s specializes in satisfying English pub fare with hearty favorites like shepherd’s pie, fish and chips, and Biltmore Grown beef and pork burgers, as well as delicious soups, salads, and small plates. Also, be sure to sample their special signature cocktails, Biltmore bourbon selections, and various local craft beers.
Another delicious restaurant on the Biltmore property is the Stable Cafe. Set inside the estate’s original horse stables, this award-winning restaurant specializes in a variety of Southern favorites, including classic burgers, Carolina barbeque, and house-smoked meats. They also serve some creative salads and sandwiches paired with fries and a house-made pickle.
Typically, you would want to visit the Biltmore House and Gardens first and then head to the Stable Cafe for lunch before making a beeline for the Biltmore Winery to indulge in their red wine and chocolate tasting.
The Stable Cafe is also one of the top Asheville restaurants for those looking for a fun family-friendly place to eat.
7. Chai Pani
Best known for its Indian street food, Chai Pani is one of the most popular downtown Indian restaurants in Asheville, and it’s not hard to see why.
It specializes in an endless array of tasty Indian snacks ranging from tangy bhel puri to spicy chicken pakoras and crunchy okra fries. You can also find traditional favorites like butter chicken and saag paneer, as well as highly-addictive uttapam (savory crepes originating from the south of India).
Due to its popularity, we recommend visiting during the off-season or on non-peak days to beat the crowds.
This trendy downtown Asheville restaurant is where you’ll find theatergoers stopping for a bite to eat before their show and friends catching up over cocktails and brunch.
They offer classic Southern dishes made with fresh local ingredients and served with creative flair. They also make a pretty mean charcuterie board with a selection of locally-sourced or house-made cured meats and cheeses, seasonal jam, Lusty Monk Mustard, pickles, and artisan bread.
9. Edison at The Omni Grove Park Inn
A favorite spot among Asheville locals, Edison is renowned for serving seasonal craft cocktails and local beers. It also boasts some spectacular views over the Blue Ridge Mountains, making it the perfect place to enjoy a couple of sundowners and small bites to eat on the outdoor terrace.
The restaurant is located at the Omni Grove Park Inn and was named for the frequent historical visits made by Thomas Edison and his ‘Vagabonds’ (Henry Ford and Harvey Firestone).
They are open seven days a week and serve lighter fare like soups and salads, although you can also order entrées like campanelle bolognese, jalapeño bacon-wrapped bison meatloaf, and butter chicken.
While the bar may not be directly situated on the rooftop, Edison at the Omni Grove Park Inn may be considered one of the best rooftop restaurants in Asheville.
Other Restaurants At The Grove Park Inn:
The Grove Park Inn is a luxury resort hotel with a string of excellent restaurants to try.
Enjoy fresh sea scallops and hand-cut steaks on the outdoor patio at the Sunset Terrace, tuck into Vue 1913’s Carolina Gold Braised Short Rib, or head to Blue Ridge for their farm-to-table artisanal spread served in a casual atmosphere.
Sip on one of the signature cocktails at The Great Hall Bar while you take in a live music performance, or indulge in a glass of wine at the President’s Lounge.
Those looking for healthier options should head to the Spa Café for a refreshing smoothie, salad, or house-made juice.
Overall, if you’re looking for some of Asheville’s most unforgettable dining experiences, the Grove Park Inn will not disappoint.
10. French Broad Chocolate Lounge
For our readers with a sweet tooth, French Broad Chocolate Lounge will not disappoint! This is one of the best dessert restaurants in Asheville and is well-worth standing in line for one of their confectionary delights.
Find melt-in-your-mouth desserts, hot drinking chocolate, brownies, custards, cakes, bonbons, truffles, coffee, and ice cream, plus a range of options for those with food intolerances and preferences.
Also, be sure to check out some of the nearby attractions while you’re here, such as the Asheville Art Museum.
11. Glass Onion
While technically located in the neighboring city of Weaverville, this classy yet casual restaurant is too good not to include in a list of the best restaurants in Asheville, NC. The Glass Onion serves Italian-inspired cuisine in a laid-back setting featuring blown-glass decor that’s ideal for an evening out with your significant other.
For antipasti, order their hand-cut fries with truffle oil, parmesan, parsley, and sea salt, or their chicken soup with meatballs and ditalini pasta.
Choose from a range of entrées for your main meal, such as seared sea scallops in a lemon thyme butter sauce served with a carrot-parsnip puree, grilled organic half-chicken with rosemary and preserved lemons, or rigatoni topped with a braised wild boar bolognese.
Of course, you’ll also want to save some room for one of their delectable desserts, which include a Southern-style coconut cake, a cappuccino fudge torte, and a traditional tiramisu.
12. Gypsy Queen Cuisine
One of the lesser-known establishments that you rarely find in guides to the best restaurants in Asheville (although it deserves a spot on the list), is Gypsy Queen Cuisine. They specialize in Mediterranean and Lebanese street food, which you can enjoy at their restaurant on the outskirts of downtown Asheville or from their food truck.
Before you go, be forewarned; you will have trouble deciding what to eat here. For Mezze, try their mixture of fried brussels sprouts and cauliflower, grape leaves, and hummus before tucking into one of their wraps, platters, gyros, or rice bowls for your main meal.
Gypsy Queen also serves vegan and gluten-free food. They are open every day of the week from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
13. Jerusalem Garden Cafe
The Jerusalem Garden Cafe serves Middle-Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine in a colorful yet laid-back setting, making it the perfect spot to escape the crowds when the other downtown Asheville restaurants get too busy.
They are open for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Sunday, offering weekend brunch and live music and belly dancing every Friday and Saturday night.
Their menu consists of traditional favorites like shwarmas, falafels, gyros, salads, and hummus. They also serve delicious cocktails and local craft beer.
14. Jettie Rae’s Oyster House
If you love New England-style fish, head to Jettie Rae’s Oyster House, which also happens to be one of the best seafood restaurants in Asheville.
Choose from their wide selection of fresh oysters, clams, mussels, calamari, and prawns, as well as one or two classic Southern dishes like fried chicken and mac and cheese. You can also find inventive cocktails with twists on classic drinks, a comprehensive wine list, and desserts like Key Lime Pie, Roasted Apple and Butter Pecan, and a flourless chocolate torte.
The restaurant occupies a unique location in a renovated Gulf Gas Station that was opened by the late ‘Steamer’ Edmonds and is one of North Asheville’s most iconic landmarks.
15. Laughing Seed Cafe
Laughing Seed Cafe is one of the best Asheville restaurants for vegan and vegetarian food. They also offer gluten-free options.
Think tasty burgers, curries, and pies served alongside their specialty cocktails.
16. Limones Restaurant
Are you looking for one of the most romantic restaurants in Asheville? Head to Limones, located around the corner from the Fine Arts Theater in downtown Asheville.
Specializing in Mexican and Californian-inspired cuisine, Limones restaurant occupies a historic building decorated with mirrors and softly-glowing candle chandeliers. With two smaller rooms and a bar area, Limones is perfect for engaging in intimate conversations over tapas and one of their famous margaritas.
They also serve lobster nachos with a black bean sauce, shrimp pico d’gallo ceviche, and masala chicken tacos. For mains, be sure to sample their enchiladas with vegan cheese, ramen short ribs, scallops with salsa, or BBQ fish. Those with a sweet tooth should save room for one of their Mexican-inspired desserts, such as their Tres Leches cake or churros with a caramel sauce and hot chocolate for sipping.
Limones also has an excellent selection of Spanish dessert wines, cocktails, and Mexican coffee.
17. Luella’s Bar-B-Que
While it would be impossible to single out just one or two of the best BBQ restaurants in Asheville, Luella’s Bar-B-Que is one for the books.
This charming restaurant serves an impressive selection of standard barbecue entrées, such as pulled pork, beef brisket, and ribs, along with a variety of sides like baked beans, fried okra, and spicy vinegar slaw. The meat is delectable, but the sauce is what ultimately sets Luella’s apart.
Their North Asheville location is always hopping, and they offer both indoor and outdoor seating. They are open Mondays through Sundays from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Also, be sure to check out some of the nearby attractions like the Botanical Gardens at Asheville or Beaver Lake.
If you’re looking for one of the best Asheville restaurants for authentic Indian cuisine, Mela is your go-to. It doles out large portions of North and South Indian food that can be enjoyed inside their cozy venue in the heart of downtown Asheville or the comfort of your own home if you opt for takeout.
Their specialties include favorites like spinach and goat cheese naan, biryanis, lamb pistachio, and butter chicken, and they offer a kids’ menu as well. You can also find seasonal vegetarian specialties and a lunch buffet that rotates daily.
19. Nine Mile
If you’re looking for one of the best restaurants in Asheville for people with food intolerances, allergies, or preferences, Nine Mile is your go-to. This vegetarian-friendly restaurant serves Caribbean-inspired rice and pasta dishes and nearly everything on the menu can be made vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free.
Combining fresh flavors with their signature hot sauce (which can be made mild or spicy depending on your preference), Nine Mile offers diners a one-of-a-kind experience. Try their Humble Humus served with a side of chips or pita bread before ordering one of their uniquely-named entrées, such as The Nolan, sautéed shrimp in a creamy dairy-free coconut
Sriracha sauce with squash, zucchini, peppers, and onions; or Marley’s Magic, grilled jerk Carolina Trout with cauliflower, carrots, and bell peppers, sautéed in a creamy, dairy-free yellow coconut curry sauce.
The original Nine Mile location is in Asheville’s Historic Montford neighborhood, with two more locations in West Asheville and South Asheville. All locations are open daily from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.
If you’re looking for one of the best vegan restaurants in Asheville, Plant should undoubtedly be your first choice. This North Asheville restaurant specializes in vegan cuisine made with locally-sourced seasonal, organic ingredients. They also offer gluten-free options.
To begin your meal, order their plant-based cheese platter, which features a combination of pickled vegetables, rosemary amber and fruit, almond ricotta, and aged cashew. For mains, choose between their raw vegetable lasagna, ravioli, or pecan-crusted tempeh. Top it all off with one of Plant’s tantalizing desserts, such as their decadent peanut butter cheesecake or signature saffron crème brûlée.
The best part? You don’t have to be vegan to enjoy any of the options on Plant’s menu! They are open for dinner on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Reservations can only be made by phone and in person.
21. Posana Restaurant
Located in downtown Asheville on Historic Pack Square, Posana is an upscale dining establishment that serves local and contemporary American cuisine along with seasonal cocktails and an award-winning selection of wines.
This is yet another of the best restaurants in Asheville for gluten-free food since nearly all the items on their menu are gluten-free. You’ll also find a wide range of desserts here, including an Earl Grey Tres Leches made with honey caramel, lavender mascarpone cream, and candied almonds; and a chocolate torte served with vegan coffee cream.
Unique to this Asheville restaurant, Posana offers a ‘Pre-Theater’ menu that includes a choice between several three-course meals, providing art patrons with a relaxing dinner before their show.
Posana is also excellent for hosting large groups and private events, with a spacious outdoor patio overlooking Pack Square and a private indoor event space that’s perfect for celebrations.
22. Red Ginger Dimsum & Tapas
Offering Asian-fusion cuisine in the heart of downtown Asheville, Red Ginger is an excellent choice for anyone craving Chinese-style dim sum and tapas.
Choose from Asian pancakes, every type of dumpling under the sun, fried rice, bento boxes, summer rolls, and vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options.
To begin your meal, try their pork won ton soup or seaweed salad, or order two to three tapas to share, like their pan-fried veggie dumplings, Buddha bean curd rolls, edamame, or shu mai.
If you’re feeling adventurous, order their steamed chicken feet in chef’s sauce, or try one of their seafood dishes like their soft-shell crab served in red curry or steamed shrimp dumplings.
Located in Asheville’s River Arts District, this Hawaiian restaurant is the place to go for delicious poké, rice, and noodle dishes. They also serve a few Filipino and Indonesian-inspired dishes.
Choose from a variety of spicy seafood entrées like their Spicy Shrimp Udon or Ube Scallops, or dine on delicacies like their grilled Korean Wagyu short ribs. Pair your meal with a refreshing cocktail or a tropical dessert like their Right Side Up Pineapple Butter Mochi.
After devouring every last tasty morsel on your plate, head to Wedge Brewing or pleb urban winery next door. Alternatively, you could go for a stroll along the Riverwalk, catch an indie film at the Grail Moviehouse, or wander the streets admiring all the vibrant murals that the River Arts District is known for.
24. Sunny Point Cafe
A favorite among locals and visitors alike, Sunny Point Cafe is hands down one of the best restaurants in Asheville for breakfast, although they are also open for lunch and dinner.
Their menu includes Southern favorites like shrimp and grits, fried green tomatoes, and chicken and waffles, as well as breakfast burritos, candied bacon, avocado toast, hotcakes, and French toast.
They also serve everything from coffee to cocktails, so you’re bound to find something you like here!
You can choose to dine outside on the patio decorated with cheerful murals or eat indoors depending on the weather, although their patio is heated during the winter months.
West Asheville is also known for its vibrant shopping scene and colorful street art, so why not spend some time exploring the area before or after you’ve been to the restaurant?
25. Thai Pearl
Located in the heart of historic West Asheville between two famous restaurants, Nine Mile and Jargon, Thai Pearl is one of the newer establishments on this list. It is owned and operated by Chef May, who trained at The Royal Palace in Bangkok, Thailand before moving to Queensland, Australia to work alongside a Michelin Star Chef.
A great choice if you’re looking for gluten-free options, you must try their mouthwatering Thai onion rings and refreshing green papaya salad. Thai Pearl also offers a variety of curries, soups, stir-fries, noodles, and rice dishes for lunch and dinner. If you’re feeling adventurous, order one of the Chef’s Specials, which range from wild ginger curry noodles to seafood basil fried rice. You can also find fresh oysters here, as well as a kids’ menu.
26. Taco Temple
Located in the northern part of the city, this is one of the best restaurants in Asheville if you happen to have a hankering for authentic Mexican cuisine. Taco Temple serves the most delicious tacos around, including some great vegan and gluten-free options.
Choose from a range of mouth-watering fillings, such as spit-roasted chile spiced pork, rotisserie chicken cooked in either a mild tomato or beer chile sauce, fried Pacific Cod and cabbage, or a mixture of sweet potato, black beans, baby kale, and queso fresco or pistachio crema.
They even serve breakfast tacos, which are excellent on their own or paired with a breakfast side or drink, like their locally sourced and roasted organic coffee or Mexican hot chocolate.
If you decide to come here for pre-dinner drinks, try the Temple Margarita, a combination of Corralejo, Cointreau, lime, and a splash of tangerine; the Cuba Libre with Flor de Dana rum, Mexican coke, and lime; or the Simone Limone made with Luksusova and Limeade.
Place your order at the window before taking your seat either inside the ‘temple’ or outside on the covered patio. One of their friendly staff members will bring your food to your table.
If you’re looking for one of the most affordable places to eat in Asheville, Taco Temple is your go-to.
27. Tupelo Honey Cafe
Specializing in Southern cuisine made from locally sourced ingredients, Tupelo Honey Cafe is, without a doubt, one of the most touristy Asheville restaurants (and franchises) on this list. That being said, their food is delicious and you should definitely pay them a visit.
Try their Pimento cheese dip, loaded cracklins, or spicy cauliflower bites before moving on to one of their famous fried chicken dishes, Southern classics served with a choice of two sides, sandwiches, or chef-inspired entrées.
28. Ukiah Japanese Smokehouse
If a combination of Japanese soul food and southern BBQ is what you crave, head to this newly-opened establishment on Biltmore Avenue opposite the Orange Peel, downtown Asheville’s most iconic music venue.
Ukiah offers a blend of indoor and outdoor seating, a large central bar, and a dog-friendly patio. Featuring a gorgeous modern interior, you can’t help but be transported to a different world upon taking your seat at one of the tables.
For appetizers, choose between crispy squid, edamame, grilled shishito peppers, and miso soup, or opt for something from their ‘raw’ section, such as the sliced hamachi, salmon sashimi, or wagyu tataki. Try their dumplings and buns for the main entrée, or order a plate of crispy baby back ribs to share. Ukiah also serves ramen, including vegetable, spicy pork BBQ, pork belly, and duck. Be sure to save room for one of their unusual desserts as well, like their charcoal cream puffs with yuzu marmalade.
While it may be one of the pricier options on this list, Ukiah provides a dining experience unlike any other with delicious food and cocktails to boot. So, if you’re looking to indulge on your culinary journey through the city, this Asheville restaurant will not disappoint.
29. Wicked Weed Brewpub
From humble beginnings to opening three taprooms and one fine dining restaurant, Wicked Weed Brewpub is one of the hottest spots to visit in downtown Asheville, NC.
The original home of the Wicked Weed franchise, the Brewpub offers a large selection of beer served alongside classic pub fare like pretzels, chicken wings, and chips, as well as sandwiches, burgers, soups, and salads.
Of course, you must try at least one of their flagship brews, such as Freak of Nature or Pernicious, which can also be bought by the case from their on-site shop.
30. Yum Poké Spot
For those looking for a healthy dining experience filled with fresh and delicious Hawaiian-style cuisine, head to Yum in downtown Asheville. Though small, this is one of the best restaurants for poké, a Hawaiian dish composed of sushi-grade raw fish mixed with rice, vegetables, and other toppings served inside a bowl or a burrito.
At Yum, you can create your personalized poké bowl with your choice of protein, rice, and veggies. You can also opt for one of Yum’s Signatures, such as Yum’s Classic: Ahi Tuna and Salmon with Romaine lettuce, seaweed salad, mango, edamame, and sweet corn topped with Sriracha aioli and Unagi sauce. Pair it with shrimp shumai, spring rolls, or spicy ahi fries on the side.
Yum also has a sister restaurant in North Asheville known as The Madness, which is home to a sushi and burger bar.
More of the Best Restaurants in Asheville, NC
31. Baby Bull Asheville
32. Biscuit Head
33. Buxton Hall Barbecue
35. Farm Burger
37. S&W Market
38. The Corner Kitchen
39. Vinnie’s Italian
40. White Duck Taco Shop